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    Colorado National Monument increases recreational access

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    Colorado National Monument has increased recreational access and services, following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Colorado and Mesa County Public Health authorities, according to a statement from the monument.

    an image of the visitors center at Colorado National Monument
    The visitors center at the Colorado National Monument. Photo courtesy of NPS/Wikimedia Commons

    Beginning Thursday, May 21, Colorado National Monument reopened access to Saddlehorn Visitor Center, Devil’s Kitchen Trailhead Parking, and Cold Shivers Overlook. Rim Rock Drive and all hiking trails are also open.

    The following facilities remain closed at this time: Saddlehorn campground, Saddlehorn picnic area and Devil’s Kitchen picnic area.

    The charging of entrance fees resumed on May 21. Entrance fees and sales in the gift shop are being limited to credit card sales only.

    “We are happy to expand the opportunities for visitors to enjoy Colorado National Monument,” stated Superintendent Nathan Souder. “Along with our Mesa County partners, we ask visitors to continue to do your part to respect others and the environment that makes this place so special. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Colorado National Monument, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”

    While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow Mesa County health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

    “The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health,” he said.

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